West & Central Africa

Boko Haram slaughters 18 refugees on Eid el Kabir

Boko Haram jihadi’s have slaughtered 18 people on one of Islam’s holy days, Eid al-Adha, (1 September 2017) in an Internally Displaced People’s (IDP) camp in Banki, a village 80 130 km south-east of Maiduguri, Borno state.

Eye witness account says the Jihadi’s entered the IDP camp housing about 45,000 people with knives and slaughtered their victims shortly after midday.. They “broke the barricade securing the IDP camp from the rear towards the Cameroon border and entered to seize food from IDPs,” a senior military officer in the town told AFP. Two other people were wounded in the attack. Abor Ali, a local ruler, confirmed the death toll.

Adamu Ahmad, a member of the Joint Civilian Task Force said the use of knives was possibly to prevent alerting soldiers stationed near the camp. A security operative, who declined to be named, however said, the use of knives and machetes are still an acceptable part of the Jihadists weapons of war.

“They have used knives in many other instances. Nothing special about this one,” he said. “It is not coincidence that they used knives on Sallah day when Muslims are also using knives to slaughter rams.”

This latest killing comes after the deadline Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General TY Buratai, gave the Nigerian army to capture Abubakar Shekau dead or alive within 40 days beginning from 21st July 2017 elapsed 30th August 2017.

An army officer, explaining the killing in the camp, said, “We have reason to believe they most likely acted on a tip-off from insiders,” suggesting a targeted attack at specific groups of people in the camp. The officer suggested that possibly wives or children of Boko Haram fighters may have infiltrated the camp disguised as displaced people to conduct reconnaissance.

172 people have been killed since June 1 by Boko Haram, according to a Reuters tally.

 

Hassan John is West Africa Editor, GCN and Priest of the Anglican Diocese of Jos

Image Credits: Hassan John (IDP Camp) and Screenshot Book Haram propaganda video